Home > Alcohol, Anxiety, Disgusting, Scary, Silliness, Surgery, Weird, Worry > The Time I Performed Home Surgery

The Time I Performed Home Surgery

Skin Tags

So, this was back in 2009 when I was unemployed and dubiously insured.

I noticed this sort of weird mole-like thing on my inner right thigh, and freaked the hell out. The thing was grotesquely shaped and seemed to grow larger weekly, eventually protruding a good quarter of an inch from my leg.

I figured I had some sort of skin cancer, and sent a blurry camera phone photo to my dad, who is a doctor. He told me to quit worrying, and that it was just a skin tag.

I had never heard of a skin tag before, but apparently it’s just a small benign growth that often appears in places where layers of skin rub against each other. Common locations include the your neck, armpits, eyelids, under the breasts, or the spot where your thighs touch (as in my case).

Though they aren’t dangerous, I thought it was pretty unsightly, and decided to get rid of it. However, my insurance was useful only in catastrophic situations, and I was not interested in paying hundreds of dollars for a doctor to snip it off. My dad recommended that I tie thread or thin, waxed dental floss around the base of the growth, and knot it tightly. By cutting off the blood supply, the tumor should eventually dry up and fall off on its own.

However, after two days with floss dangling between my legs, the skin tag was purple, but still very firmly attached. Evidently I had not cut off the blood supply completely, or at least not to the entire mass.

It was time for plan B.

Plan B involved rubbing the area with alcohol, sterilizing a pair of nail or toenail clippers, and just chopping it off. After reading a few articles describing the procedure, I felt like I was ready.

But when the time came, I found myself paralyzed with fear. I held the clippers menacingly in my left hand while the other clutched at my thigh, but I couldn’t seem to get the two to meet. Each time my left hand approached, my thigh scooted off to the right of its own accord, causing me to spin in sad, naked circles.

I took a deep breathe, sterilized everything AGAIN just in case, then sat myself down on the toilet lid so that I’d stop revolving like a top. Even once the clippers were poised around the tag, I still had to give myself a pep talk for a good five minutes before I finally made the snip.

And it really wasn’t bad at all. It stung terribly for a second, bled slightly, and it was all over. After the application of a Band-Aid, it was if nothing had happened at all. Now, all I have is a small scar to mark the spot, and the tag has never recurred.

So if you’ve got a troublesome skin tag, just grit your teeth and chop that damn thing off. You’ll be glad you did, and hopefully you won’t be as wussy as I was about it all.

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